Strong Ghana-US ties lay with young people – Douglas Emhoff

The Second Gentleman of the United States (US), Douglas Emhoff, has stat­ed that the foundation of strong US-Ghana bilateral ties lay with young people.

“You are the future, you are the engineers, the inventors and you are going to take over. Take interest in the future now because that is important to make the right choices and decisions,” he said.

Mr Emhoff was speaking at a town hall discussion of the award winning adolescent health serial drama, “You Only Live Once” (YOLO) at the Labone Senior High School in Accra yesterday.

Sponsored by the United States Agency for International Develop­ment (USAID), YOLO highlights the challenges and opportunities confronting the youth of Ghana in a fun, engaging way that allows them to make informed choices about their health and develop­ment for a healthier population.

The latest 13-episode season, which casts the Second Gentle­man, focuses on key health and social behaviours, including peer pressure, family planning, nutri­tion, reproductive health, child and adolescent health as well as promoting COVID-19 vaccina­tion.

Lauding the producers of YOLO for shining the spotlight on issues affecting the youth, Mr Emhoff challenged young people to take charge of their lives and be responsible for their decisions.

“As adults, we have gone through most of the things you are going through and it is okay to talk to an adult when you are not sure. You are responsible for the decisions you make and you need to get it right because you only have one life to live,” he advised.

The legal and women’s rights activist noted that issues of gen­der inequality and mental health confronting the world now neces­sitated urgent action on women empowerment now than ever.

“YOLO gives a strong message on the need for women to be empowered to take charge of their lives. It teaches men to support women and the need for women to be encouraged into leadership roles.

The US is committed to advanc­ing the rights of women and girls all over the world,” he said.

The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw OseiAdutwum, encouraged the students to think of leaving a positive legacy by their life choices and decisions.

“Make right choices and you will have the right impact. Think of changing your society and country and that can only be de­termined by the choices you make now,” he said.

For her part, the Executive Director of the National Popu­lation Council (NPC), Dr Leti­cia Appiah, said “choices have consequences” and young people must make life choices from an in­formed, knowledge-based position to spur national development.

Mr Douglas Emhoff, is married to the first woman Vice President of the US, Kamala Harris, who is in Ghana on a three-day visit as part of a week-long three-nation African tour.

She is expected to visit Tanza­nia and Zambia from Ghana in a visit that focuses on economic development, climate change, food security and a rising youth population in deepening US-Afri­ca relations.

According to an official state­ment from the White House, the trip is a follow-up to the US-Afri­ca summit held in Washington last December where President Joe Biden asserted that the US was “all in on Africa’s future.”


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